I visited Siddara Betta(hill) when I visited Madhugiri fort along with one of my friend. I am going to share the story of the trip to Siddara Betta now.
Siddara betta is located near to Koratagere village. Once you cross Koratagere village, on the way to Madhugiri fort look for a Karnataka tourism yellow board asking you to a left turn for Siddara betta. On this road if you ride another 5 – 6 km from this point, you will reach the base of Siddara betta. You can visit Siddara betta for two reasons – adventure trekking and religious visit. One has to climb through the steps to reach the top of the hill which has a shrine of Lord Siddalingeshwara(Shiva) inside a cave.
Distance: Around 100 km from Bangalore, 35 km from Tumkur and 10 km from Koratagere.
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur road – Nelmangala – Dobaspet (take right turn under flyover) – Koratagere – SiddaraBetta
How to reach there: The best way to reach there is private vehicle. As public transport is rare from Koratagere to Siddara betta.
We visited Siddara betta after visiting Madhugiri fort. It was a planning mistake as at both the places we had to climb. So I suggest not visit Madhugiri and Siddara betta the same day. If you visit Madhugiri, do visit the nearby Maidanahalli Blackbuck sanctuary and cover Siddara betta any other day. We started climbing on Siddara betta around 3 pm. In the beginning it looks like it is a small way to the top but as you start climbing it is like never ending. One has to climb more than 3 km to reach the top. However, there are steps and rods to hold onto. But at places you will have to manage through slopes and stones. Climb on Siddara betta is not as steep as at Shivaganga. The sun was descending on the horizon as were reaching near the top. We were really tired after reaching the plateau where the cave temple is located. Climbing two hills in a span of 6 – 7 hours has taken its toll.
After little rest, we went inside the cave. Here at one corner the idol of lord Siddalingeshwara is situated. On the other sides you will many idols including nag dev (snake god). Here at a point water was coming out continuously and it is believed to be holy. We touched the water on our head for his divine blessings. I also saw a custom where a person was pouring those cold water on people and it was virtually a bath with all cloths on before going to pray to the lord. The view from the top is good with many small hills in the vicinity covered by short dry forest. The descend from the top was quite quick and we were back on the road by 6 pm. After riding little bit were fighting torrential rain and we had to halt for sometime. Since then rain was playing hide and seek until we reached Bangalore.
Note: I see Shande mentioned in his blog that, Sanjeevani drug which was used to cure Lakshman (younger brother of lord Ram) during Ramayana was found at Siddara betta. But as far as I know sanjeevani drug was found from Gandha madan parvat (mountain) in the Himalayas and Hanuman extracted the whole mountain as he was unable to recognize the particular plant.
Caution: Be aware of monkey. If you are carrying any food item or items for puja to the shrine take special care.
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